Depression is the most common mental disorder with nearly 8% meeting the criteria for diagnosis, with on average between 4-10% of the population in England will experience depression throughout their lifetime. Approximately 20% of workdays are lost to depression and is believed to be a major contributor to suicide and heart disease.¹ Although public support has improved, research from Mind showed over a third of the population believe that the stereotypical description of someone who has experience mental health issues are prone to violence; up by 6% over the last decade.² Overall, the solution lies in not how to prevent depression, but how to improve the way we approach challenges that can lead to depression.

What factors affect the risk of depression?

Spending on mental health services is being cut in five regions of England.³ Organisations are now struggling to cope with the increased demand in supporting people through difficult circumstances. Between 2010- 2016, council budgets are being cut by up to 43%. From 2010-2015, the government has implemented cuts of £20 billion, with income to the voluntary and community could drop 15% by 2017. And finally, one third of charities said they had little or no time to prepare risk assessments and support plans.⁴ A survey of Scottish workers found that 48% were concerned they would lose their job by telling their employer about a mental health condition. This survey also revealed that 55% felt the disclosure could result in being passed over for promotion or moved to another post. Only 22% thought that their coworkers had a good understanding of the importance of employee mental health.⁵

What impact should we be creating?

For me, mental health has been a prominent presence within my life. This has affected my ability in many aspects such as: work, social and even private life. I have struggled to maintain relationships, deal with stressful situations, and my professional career. In these instances, mental health is often misdiagnosed. So the problem with mental health is not necessarily because people are talking about it- it’s because of the societal stigma that attached to it.

The growing lack of support is a failure by the government to recognize the growing concern for human welfare. And as a result, sufferers become so abstract from society that they struggle to contribute to their families, employment, and communities. So for businesses, the ability to monitor employee welfare has become a key factor in job-satisfaction and engagement. This will assist developing transferable skills that can used in all aspects of their lives such as: career, relationships, and well-being.

By elevating the pressure on the NHS, local authorities and mental health charities- saving on money, time and resources, we can treat mental health in a positive and proactive way. The recent cut-backs in support to mental health sector means that this sector is unable to meet the demands. What businesses should be focusing on giving everyone a voice, and a chance to express themselves creatively.

Therefore, this will create an element of “communal responsibility.”

And a society we can all be proud of.

#time2change #endthestigma #mentalhealthawareness

References

  1. Mental Health Foundation. (2017). Mental health statistics: the most common mental health problems. [online] Available at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-most-common-mental-health-problems [Accessed 7 Oct. 2018].
  2. Mind (2013). Latest results from national study show public attitudes towards mental illness are moving in the right direction | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems. [online] Available at: https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/latest-results-from-national-study-show-public-attitudes-towards-mental-illness-are-moving-in-the-right-direction/#.W73GL2hKjIU [Accessed 7 Oct. 2018].
  3. Forster, K. (2017). Millions cut from mental health spending in five regions. [online] The Independent. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/mental-health-nhs-funding-cut-millions-five-england-regions-1-billion-spent-2021-scarborough-walsall-a7700476.html [Accessed 7 Oct. 2018].
  4. Local Democracy Think Tank (2014) Challenges faced by the Voluntary and Community Sector in supporting local services and developing resilient communities. Available at: http://www.lgiu.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Challenges-faced-by-the-Voluntary-and-Community-Sector-in-supporting-local-services-and-developing-resilient-communities1.pdf (Accessed 9 February 2018).
  5. Keane, L. (2017). 5 Mental Health Campaigns That Made A Difference | GlobalWebIndex. [online] GlobalWebIndex Blog. Available at: https://blog.globalwebindex.com/marketing/mental-health/ [Accessed 9 Oct. 2018].